Stream concurrents & billing
Our stream service incurs additional usage pricing based on the peak concurrent listeners in a calendar month period. This article explains how peak concurrent overages are charged.
What are peak concurrents ?
"Concurrents" measure how many active users are connected to the stream at the same time. "Peak" concurrents means the highest number of connected active users at a time during any given period.
In the graph below, we see active users (concurrents) over a month period, with the highest number of listeners connected at the same time (the peak) being 2504. In the graph it's also easy to see where the highest peak occured.
The concurrents graph is available on the "Overview" tab of the analytics portal.
How do we charge ?
All our stream products include 500 peak concurrent users in the package price. Thereafter we invoice in blocks of 100 peak concurrents.
The included 500 concurrents typically caters for between 8,000 — 16,000 monthly listens, but this depends on listenership patterns.
So for example, if the peak concurrents for a month was 2504, that would mean:
- 2504 - 500 free concurrents = 2004 concurrents
- 2004 / 100 = 20 blocks
The amount we charge for each block of 100 is based on the type of package. (Commercial or Community, see our pricing page)
We use the "active users" as defined in our analytics. This already excludes all automated bots and any listening session less than 1 minute in length from contributing to overage costs.
To futher ensure more consistent pricing for customers month-to-month and protect them from large overage costs if there are large spikes in listenership, we charge overages only on the 95th percentile of the peak concurrents.
What is the 95th percentile ?
By using the 95th percentile of peak concurrents, it essentially means we ignore the top 5% of peaks in a period. This prevents large spikes from affecting the monthly cost, and typically falls lower than the absolute peaks on a stream:
The 95th percentile as meaured in the period is visible on the overview dashboard for stream analytics.
In the graph below, we see that even though the highest number of concurrent listeners in a month period was 2504, the 95th percentile value is only 2076 users. This provides a fairer measure of what a stations regular listenership looks like.
In this example, the customer will only be charged for 16 additional concurrent blocks.
- 2076 concurrents 95th - 500 free blocks = 1576
- 1576 / 100 = 16 blocks
Why do we charge for additional concurrents ?
Fixed cost pricing is desireable to many stations, but it is currently difficult for us to provide fixed pricing that can easily scale between community stations, regional stations or national stations, where the difference in peak concurrents may be from 100 to 5,000 or 15,000 peak concurrents.
Our hosting costs are directly related to how many listeners we must be able to serve at a given point in time, and also includes costs for over-provisioning (ensuring we have enough additional capacity to deal with sudden spikes or outages without affecting listeners).
Fixed cost plans also typically benefit larger stations much more than smaller ones, and our package pricing already includes 500 free concurrents. This is typically enough for most smaller stations.
How many concurrents will I use ?
If you are interested in using our stream services but are concerned or unsure of how much overages you'll incur, please contact our sales team to assist you.
If available, we would require a usage report from your existing stream provider to provide an estimate. We provide a 2 week trial on our stream products to allow you to establish what your costs would be without commitment.